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The History of Solvang, the Heritage of Denmark  
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See also Exhibitions for news about current and upcoming Elverhøj exhibits.


Handcrafted One-of-a-Kind Locally Made Arts and Crafts
11 AM to 5 PM

This December, Elverhøj Museum of History and Art in Solvang is hosting a “Makers Market” each Saturday before Christmas. A curated group of talented artisans from area studios and workshops will showcase and sell their handmade goods at The Market. Browse the handcrafted gifts and wares on December 4, 11 and 18 from 11 am to 5 pm. There is no charge for admission.

“Makers Market is an opportunity to meet talented local artisans and crafters while shopping handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gifts, all made locally and sustainably,” said Elverhøj Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates. “There will be a variety of handmade works with a wide range of prices.”

Makers Market

Makers Market debuts on December 4 with wood crafts by Scott Bruhn, jewelry by Diana Paul, gifts and hand dyed scarves by Emily Abello, and Lori McConnell’s jewelry and paper gifts.

The following Saturday, December 11, will showcase four artisans: Georganne Alex and her art-wear bags and scarves, Kristen Bates with her Danish-inspired and beaded jewelry, Mary Ann Manmone’s functional needle arts, and Mark Infanti’s turned and hand carved wood crafts.

Makers Market concludes on December 18 with Syd McCutcheon’s modern take on folk arts and crafts, ceramics by Shelley Nakano, and Mary Stanley’s fiber arts for all ages.

Market guests are invited to browse the Museum Store and the selection of modern + heritage inspired goods and gifts, many exclusive to Elverhøj. There will be weekly store specials and holiday discounts.



Skal Solvang

Elverhøj is honoring Solvang’s founding in 1911 and its 110th anniversary using the theme of “Skål Solvang—Celebrating 110 Years of History & Culture.” We launched a new email series highlighting community milestones. Pop-up displays will appear in Solvang storefronts this spring, and—when allowed—special exhibitions and events.

Here are links to the installments in the monthly email  series so far:  

To follow the story as it continues, make sure to subscribe to our Skål Solvang email series as it continues throughout 2021. If you aren’t receiving our newsletters and messages in your inbox, drop us a note at info@elverhoj.org.



220 page, full-color, hardcover book. Shipping available.
$39.95 plus tax.

Order online using Paypal.

Or phone (805) 686-1211 or use this ORDER FORM.

Spirit of Solvang book

People tend to be curious about Solvang, this Danish town in the rural Santa Ynez Valley. Curious about the people. Curious about the culture and its authenticity. Curious about how it all came to be.

This book chronicles the challenges and triumphs of this Danish community that grew, thrived, and evolved while most faded into obscurity. Although Solvang was founded more than a century ago, there has been a lack of complete and accurate information regarding the town’s history and evolution. Until now there had been no published written or photographic documentation of one of the most vital Danish-American communities in the United States. The book is authored by researcher Ann Dittmer and Elverhøj Executive Director Esther Jacobsen Bates with a foreword by Denmark’s Ambassador to the United States, Lone Dencker Wisborg.

Solvang history spread
Solvang Main Street (sample book spread - click image for larger version)

Solvang's second windmillMore than 10 years of research and development went into the project. Rich with photographs, the 220-page hardbound book incorporates extensive use of photographic resources, artifacts and oral histories, and maps of early Solvang. The full-color publication includes information about changes to the social, cultural, agricultural, architectural and economic landscape of Solvang and involves the contributions of a great many individuals who volunteered countless hours.

For more information or to purchase phone (805) 686-1211 or email info@elverhoj.org or use this ORDER FORM.

See media coverage:



Congrats to our very own Esther for her role in helping show John Bartel around. He has a series called Backroads and wanders around California exploring places his viewers may be interested in. Why were we interested in him? He works for ABC 10 in Sacramento. Take a look at this short sweet cute Solvang Clip featured in Sacramento.



This day in Solvang history

Join us as we celebrate moments in Solvang history in a new E-Series and learn about this Danish village nestled in the foothills of California’s Central Coast. Visitors to Solvang today are welcomed by a picturesque downtown of Old World style half-timber buildings and windmills. Yet the story behind these facades is a surprising one that dates back more than a century, when the Danish colony was established as a home for a traditional folk school.

Email info@elverhoj.org to be on the list to receive these occasional emails. We promise not to share your information.

Here are links to each date in the series:




In Forbes, May 11, 2020, appeared the article In Tiny Solvang, California, Rembrandt Continues Teaching Valuable Lessons.

Two front page articles in 2019 featured our most recent Elverhøj exhibit: The Santa Ynez Valley Star published a story August 6th: Eyvind Earle, John Cody works featured in “Crossing Paths.” The Santa Ynez Valley News published a story July 25: Elverhoj Museum in Solvang to debut “Crossing Paths” exhibit, featuring artist Eyvind Earle & John Cody.

The publication My Livable City Vol. 4 Issue. 1, Apr-Jun 2017, included an article about Solvang in its Urban Blueprint section (“A series of case studies that capture the transformational qualities of well-designed cities”). Author Willem Swart gives an insightful and comprehensive analysis of Solvang’s development through the lens of architecture and what he calls 'allopatric urbanization.' For a PDF copy of the complete article, click the image below.



We invite you to become part of the volunteer family who are the heart, soul and voice of Elverhøj. Come share our warm and lively cultural center and become part of this small museum with a big reach.

Share your skills while getting an insider's view of the Museum and its magic.

Not much free time? Try volunteering two to four hours, once or twice a month. Retired? Elverhøj is a perfect place to share your skills and life's wisdom. Looking for a way to share your interest in art or doing crafts? Talk to us and let’s find a way to share it with our visitors. Are you—or do you know—a student who needs public service credit? Think Elverhøj!

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Docent: Our frontline volunteers who bring Elverhøj alive for visitors.
  • Photographer: help document events, activities and our collections.
  • Jack (or Jill) of All Trades: Help with building and grounds maintenance and improvements.
  • Collections Management: Help us preserve the past for future generations.
  • Education & Outreach: Teach and reach our youngest visitors and local schools.
  • Research: Assist with ongoing projects and exhibits.
  • Special Events: Help with openings, activities, and events.


  • Part time flexible hours.
  • Use your talents and meet new friends!
  • Your chance to explore, inspire, discover, contribute, and have fun.
  • No experience required.

Contact us at (805) 686-1211 or info@elverhoj.org



Danes are curious people. When they immigrated to America they often kept in touch with each other. When a group of Danes found a good place to farm and live they told others to come join them. Such a place is Solvang, California. . . .

Solvang DVDSo begins a DVD screening in Elverhøj’s Solvang Room and available in the Museum Store for $15. Entitled Solvang, Danish Colony in California, it tells the fascinating history of a little town that grew into an internationally-known tourist destination.
Personal interviews bring to life the pioneering Danish families that made Solvang flourish. These early settlers had a great capacity for work, but also for enjoyment. When times were tough they persevered and helped one another. They came to love their new home, but always treasured their Danish background. Priceless old photographs and more contemporary images supplement their rich oral history.
June Christensen, Elverhøj board member, was the executive producer and researcher on this project. People interviewed include: Elise Lindegaard Bates, Thor Brandt-Erichsen, Harlan Burchardi, Elisa Larsen Duus, Erik Gregersen, Leona Ibsen, Regina Iversen, Ivo Nedegaard Jacobsen, Marie Tarnow Jaeger, Florence (Flossie) Jensen, Eiler Johansen, Anker Johnson, Monica Fauerso Kramer, Elna Larsen, Daryl Nielsen, Donald Nielsen, Kathryn Iversen Nielsen, Roger Nielsen, Edna Paaske, Abeline Jensen Petersen, Robert Petersen, William Petersen, Else Jensen Statom, Marian Johnson Walker, Gerda Svendsen Willis, Lucille Wulff, and Viggo Richard Wulff.
An informative narration by videographer Bent Myggen sets these interviews in context. Myggen also did camera work, editing and production. Funding for the DVD project came from the Santa Barbara Foundation, The Valley Foundation, and private donors.
To order the Solvang, Danish Colony in California DVD for $15, email info@elverhoj.org or call the Museum at 805-686-1211. This will be a keepsake to treasure and an imaginative gift for family and friends.


Weddings at ElverhojWEDDINGS AT ELVERHØJ

The historic building and carefully manicured cottage gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for intimate weddings.  The garden with its abundant year-round blooms and corner gazebo creates a lovely setting for any wedding party. The bell in its stately tower can chime, marking the presentation of the newly married couple.

The garden area comfortably accommodates up to 150 guests. Call (805) 686-1211 for information about availability and the reasonable rates. 


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